Category: Covid-19

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“Treating taxpayers like an ATM machine”

Anthea Bareham
Meme of an ATM reads HMRX Self-servatives

Most people seem to think that Dido Harding’s test and trace programme (NHST&T but nothing to do with the NHS) is a disaster. I won’t go into the reasons why; you can read some of it in the House of Commons committee report. Instead, let’s just look at the costs. The government allocated a budget […]

“Last Christmas”: the Boris Johnson Christmas party karaoke version

Tom Scott

Last Christmas, I kept you apartBut the very next day, I partied awayThis year, to save donors from tearsI’ll give them all something special Once bitten and twice shyThat what they say, but it doesn’t applySleaze and corruption, so many storiesBut still you will keep on voting for Tories “Forgive me, forgive me” you all […]

Covid-19, Omicron and the anti-vax/misinformation agenda

Emma Monk
Cognitive dissonance

Emma Monk takes a look at the ease with which Covid misinformation is created and spread and at the cognitive dissonance on display. Within days of scientists discovering a new Covid-19 variant, now called ‘Omicron’, the usual anti-science/anti-vax culprits were trying to find ways to cast doubt over it on social media. I made a […]

Cancer patients have suffered enough

Dr Dianne Dowling

During a BBC interview on 1 October 2021, Boris Johnson added insult to injury by using the phrase: “Never mind life expectancy or cancer outcomes – look at wage growth.” Clearly, the only metric he was interested in was economic. This is deeply offensive to cancer patients and their families, and shows a total lack […]

Five news stories this government would prefer you not to know about

Anthea Simmons

Here’s a collection of news stories that probably won’t be covered in any detail by the BBC or much of the mainstream media. We’ll try to put a selection together for you at least once a week. There’s no shortage of material with this government! Russian interference in our democracy: Remember the Russia report into […]

Living in a grown-up country. Spoiler alert: it’s not the UK…

Mike Zollo

When we arrived in Spain recently, we commented that it felt reassuring to be arriving in a ‘grown-up country’. It struck us as soon as we started our drive south, immediately becoming aware of the fact that everyone was wearing face-masks, as required in indoor public places; a high number of people show the same […]

Most of those who made catastrophic errors on Covid are still in charge, which does at least explain why so much is still going wrong.

Richard Murphy

The House of Commons and Science and Technology Committee and Health and Social Care Committee have published their Report, Coronavirus: lessons learned to date, examining the initial UK response to the Covid pandemic. As the Committees report (and I reproduce this to give balance to what follows): Some initiatives were examples of global best practice, but […]

Covid-19: 2 months since ‘Freedom Day’, but where are we now?

Emma Monk

Just over two months since ‘Freedom Day’ and in many places it feels like Covid-19 is a distant memory. Masks have been abandoned, schools are ‘back to normal’, people are crowding back on tubes; meanwhile you still can’t go into a vet’s consulting room with your pet. So where exactly are we with regards to […]

The double whammy: Covid-19 and Brexit in Spain

Mike Zollo

Part one: Si no vuelves … (If you don’t come back …) An account of our recent trip to Spain in times of Covid-19, and our first post Brexit A few weeks ago, half way across the Bay of Biscay on Brittany Ferries’ Pont Aven, returning from a long visit to Spain, I listened to […]

Japan’s prime minister resigned over 17,000 Covid deaths. Deaths in the UK now stand at 135,000. Will Johnson resign? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor-in-chief, Nearly a fortnight ago the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, resigned after taking personal responsibility for nearly 17,000 deaths from Covid-19. This, in a country of some 126 million people which has recently hosted the Olympic Games. Many in Japan thought the games should be delayed again, but they compromised by not allowing spectators […]

Marcus Fysh talking (potentially dangerous) codswallop. Part 1

Anthea Simmons

MP for Yeovil Marcus Fysh has miraculously become a medic – and an epidemiologist and virologist to boot. Perhaps he’s piloting a new government strategy aimed at filling the shortages in experienced staff across a whole range of sectors whereby an individual has only to express a nodding acquaintance with a subject or a function […]

Covid-19 vaccinations for 12-15 yr olds: a detailed look at the JCVI decision

Emma Monk

After weeks of speculation on whether or not children aged 12-15 would be offered a Covid-19 vaccination, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) finally released their report on 3 September. As is often the case, the findings widely reported in the press didn’t fully reflect what the report actually said, and this has […]

The Möbius strip of government Covid-19 guidelines

Jane Stevenson

The south west now has some of the highest Covid-19 prevalence rates in the country. We run a small manufacturing business in Cornwall, and I am updating our business Covid-19 protocols so have the unenviable job of trawling through the government guidelines. It’s been like circulating on a Möbius strip. First up, when to isolate. […]

The UK cannot afford Sunak: he is a massive threat to our well-being

Richard Murphy
Chancellor Rishi Sunak laughing

It was claimed in the Guardian yesterday that Rishi Sunak had written to the prime minister to ask for a relaxation in Covid travel regulations. He had. The populist in No 11 was trying to out-popularise the populist in No 10. You could not make up the scale of Covid recklessness on display when debate should be […]

Anti-vax cranks and Putin’s mafia state: an unholy alliance

Tom Scott

How is it possible that thousands of people in our country are persuaded to assemble in Trafalgar Square to applaud anti-vax cranks and far-right extremists such as Piers Corbyn and Katie Hopkins? What kind of delusional mania brings people to cheer the malignant, attention-seeking narcissist Kate Shemirani as she calls for doctors and nurses to […]

Dominic Cummings: is my enemy’s enemy my friend?

Sadie Parker

It’s the classic logic riddle: You are at a fork in a road on the border of two lands. Two guides stand guard at the fork; one always tells the truth, the other always lies. They know that one way leads to a land of comfort and safety, the other to danger and death. You […]

Lessons to be learnt from the southernmost tip of the British Isles

Emma Monk

The southernmost tip of the British Isles, Jersey, (until recently) had an exemplary track record for its handling of Covid-19. On the tiny island, with a population just shy of 110,000, the authorities started preparing their Covid-19 response before any cases were discovered on the island. They were monitoring their borders, held meetings with commercial, […]

Meet our Prime Monster

Anthea Simmons
caricature of Boris Johnson with text "Because the dead can't vote

If there is anyone out there who still believes that lovable rogue Boris Johnson has done his best, poor man, in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis, we suggest they read this. .@BorisJohnson: “It’s only over-80s who’ll die.” 🏴‍☠️ Tomorrow’s @DailyMirror. Reminder of @BorisJohnson‘s record with care homes. 🏴‍☠️ @BorisJohnson 🧐 🏴‍☠️ Originally tweeted […]

Package pile-up as 70 postal workers self-isolate in central Devon

Anthea Simmons

The image above shows the growing backlog of undelivered parcels at Ashburton Post Office and library as a consequence of covid-related staff shortages, with 70 of the 100 sorting office and delivery staff self-isolating following Covid-19 notification ‘pings’. Deliveries in a number of areas in Teignbridge and the South Hams are similarly affected. Ashburton Post […]

On the frontline: the safety of shop workers is being ignored – again

Vicky Rosier
smashed bottle of red wine n supermarket aisle

Shop workers go unnoticed by much of society. They toil away mostly unseen in the background so that the rest of us can get our groceries, ready meals, beers or clothing in well-stocked, pristine-looking stores. They work for some of the big, long-established companies in the UK – Sainsbury’s, Asda, Next, M&S, John Lewis, WH […]

A dangerous masquerade

Anthea Simmons
Johnson outside No. 10 on a giant St George flag

If England win tonight, you just know that Johnson will muscle (!) in to claim credit. I have a vision of him, having been woken up by a sharp poke in the ribs by Carrie, shambling towards the dais, hellbent on snatching the trophy from Kane’s hands. The worst foul you’ll ever see at Wembley. […]

People’s Covid Inquiry – a report on the recent webinar

Chris Ambrose
doctor in PPE in front of union flag

People’s Covid Inquiry Webinar 7 July 2021 The People’s Covid Inquiry was called by campaign organisation Keep Our NHS Public. The Inquiry heard testimony from many witnesses and took place with support from a wide variety of individuals and organisations. The panel (all members giving their time on a voluntary basis) was chaired by Michael Mansfield […]